Lenovo Tab M8 HD impressions

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Recently purchased a Lenovo Tab M8 HD at Bestbuy for CAN$110 to use with my P3S and my Spark. It has 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage with a MicroSD card slot to add more storage if needed. The tablet itself is an 8 inch tablet. I have always used my iPhones to fly my drones and currently use my iPhone XR. I have wanted a tablet for awhile to have a bigger screen but although I find iOS devices to be stable and reliable, I did not want to spend as much as or more than the cost of the drone just for the device I am using to fly with, so that's the reason I wanted a cheap alternative.

I narrowed down my searching to a Samsung Tab A8 (2019) 8 inch tablet at around CAN$168 and a Huawei MediaPad T3 10 9.6 inch tablet $178. I hadn't even considered the Lenovo. I was leaning toward the Samsung because I liked the 8 inch size better but then saw the add for the Lenovo at Bestbuy for $110 so decided to give it a shot.

The Lenovo has a quality premium feel which surprised me considering the price. It came with Android 9 but immediately updated itself to 10 once it was on my WiFi network. I immediately used @msinger's suggestions to optimize the tablet for use for running flight software. I removed all unnecessary apps and installed DJI GO, DJI GO4, Dronelink, and Litchi (which I had to purchase for again for Android).

In my testing so far in the two weeks I have had the tablet so far it seems to be working quite well:

On my P3S via WiFi, both DJI GO and Litchi work well. The video feed is smooth and does not pixelate or freeze. The screen update is not as smooth as my iPhone XR but it works fine. Dronelink works if you download any missions beforehand, but the On the Fly (OTF) missions do not work which is understandable as Donelink usually requires a cellular connection to operate properly. I also found the video feed was slow to update and frames would freeze. It worked ok if you had the mission map maximized though.

On my Spark, I had to purchase a new OTG to work with the Lenovo tablet. Although I did not try the tablet with WiFi only there was a huge difference between the WiFi only P3S. For both DJI GO4 and Litchi video feed has been smooth and fluid just like on my iPhone XR - I can't notice any difference. I have not tried the Spark with Dronelink yet, but intend to use my iPhone as a hotspot so that Dronelink can have cellular access. For the Spark, I did have to purchase the Android compatible OTG cable and a tablet holder as the tablet would not fit in the Spark's phone clamp.

The biggest downside of the tablet has been the screen brightness - at 350 nits, it is noticeably less bright than my iPhone XR with a rated 625 nits brightness. A screen shade has helped solve some of that issue.

Overall, I am very pleased with the Lenovo Tab M8 HD. For a low cost tablet, it has exceeded my expectations and has allowed me to be able to view more of the area I am flying in.

As an Android newbie, what can you do about apps that you can not delete and have no intention of using? For example there is an app called 'Kid's Mode'. When I bring up info it indicates that it is a Multi-user app and the only options I have are to open it or Force stop.

Chris
 
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Recently purchased a Lenovo Tab M8 HD at Bestbuy for CAN$110 to use with my P3S and my Spark.
Hey Chris, great price on the Lenovo, glad to hear you're enjoying the new and bigger screen. Much easier on the eyes and I find gives a better representation when framing a shot. Like you said however, the low nit rating can be a challenge at times. With Android you'll find that some default apps won't have an uninstall or disable option but there are ways to remove them if necessary but usually they're not an issue. Here's a guide from Wired about the subject if you're interested.
 
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Hey Chris, great price on the Lenovo, glad to hear you're enjoying the new and bigger screen. Much easier on the eyes and I find gives a better representation when framing a shot. Like you said however, the low nit rating can be a challenge at times. With Android you'll find that some default apps won't have an uninstall or disable option but there are ways to remove them if necessary but usually they're not an issue. Here's a guide from Wired about the subject if you're interested.
Hi RotorWash,
Thanks for the link, I'll check it out later today, but like you said, leaving them on and disabled is not an issue. I bought the Lenovo tablet knowing full well that a $100 tablet was not going to be like my iPhone or an iPad but was very surprised at how well it worked. I often use my drones to look for old settlement ruins that are scattered throughout the area where I live so that I can re-visit on foot and the tablet screen makes it much easier to do so.

Take care and stay safe.

Chris
 
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